Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Testosterone & cortisol may not be the villains that popular media portrays them to be, & instead are associated with better response inhibition & less risky decision-making, respectively

Three-month cumulative exposure to testosterone and cortisol predicts distinct effects on response inhibition and risky decision-making in adolescents. Grant S.Shields, Susannah L. Ivory, Eva H. Telzer. Psychoneuroendocrinology, August 20 2019, 104412.

•    We examined relations between hair hormones, response inhibition, and risky decision-making
•    Hair testosterone selectively predicted better response inhibition
•    Hair cortisol selectively predicted less risky decision-making
•    These associations held when controlling for the other hormone

Abstract: Prior studies have established that cortisol and testosterone play a role in impulsive behavior, but little is known about how cumulative exposure to these hormones over a recent period influences cognitive processes that help to regulate impulsive behavior. We addressed this gap in the present study by examining how hair concentrations of testosterone and cortisol related to response inhibition and risky decision-making in adolescents. Adolescents provided 3 cm of hair cut as close as possible to the scalp from a posterior vertex position—indexing three months of hair growth—and completed two behavioral tasks, one that measures response inhibition and the second that measures risky decision-making. We found that greater three-month cumulative exposure to testosterone predicted better response inhibition but was unassociated with risky decision-making, whereas greater three-month cumulative exposure to cortisol predicted less risky decision-making but was unassociated with response inhibition. These results suggest that testosterone and cortisol may be associated with unique cognitive processes underpinning impulsive behavior, providing further evidence for their roles in contributing to complex impulsive behaviors in adolescence.

Check also Paternal biobehavioral influence on the family: Preliminary data from the D.A.D.I.O. Project. Nikki J Clauss, Erin Harrington, Jennifer Byrd-Craven. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019.

Voters in a real-world political campaign are most susceptible to forming false memories for fake news that aligns with their beliefs, in particular if they have low cognitive ability

False Memories for Fake News During Ireland’s Abortion Referendum. Gillian Murphy et al. Psychological Science, August 21, 2019.

Abstract: The current study examined false memories in the week preceding the 2018 Irish abortion referendum. Participants (N = 3,140) viewed six news stories concerning campaign events—two fabricated and four authentic. Almost half of the sample reported a false memory for at least one fabricated event, with more than one third of participants reporting a specific memory of the event. “Yes” voters (those in favor of legalizing abortion) were more likely than “no” voters to “remember” a fabricated scandal regarding the campaign to vote “no,” and “no” voters were more likely than “yes” voters to “remember” a fabricated scandal regarding the campaign to vote “yes.” This difference was particularly strong for voters of low cognitive ability. A subsequent warning about possible misinformation slightly reduced rates of false memories but did not eliminate these effects. This study suggests that voters in a real-world political campaign are most susceptible to forming false memories for fake news that aligns with their beliefs, in particular if they have low cognitive ability.

Keywords: false memory, politics, fake news, misinformation, bias, open data, open materials

Overweight participants craved a greater variety of high-caloric high palatable foods than normal‐weight participants at both eating events and random non‐eating moments

Food craving in daily life: comparison of overweight and normal‐weight participants with ecological momentary assessment. A. Roefs  B. Boh  G. Spanakis  C. Nederkoorn  L. H. J. M. Lemmens  A. Jansen. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, August 20 2019.

Background: The present study examined food cravings in daily life by comparing overweight and normal‐weight participants right before eating events and at non‐eating moments. It was hypothesised that overweight participants would have (i) more frequent, (ii) stronger and (iii) a greater variety of high‐caloric palatable food cravings, and also would (iv) consume more high‐caloric palatable foods, than normal‐weight participants.

Methods: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) was used to assess food craving strength and frequency, variety of specific food cravings, and food intake. Fifty‐seven overweight and 43 normal‐weight adult participants were assessed at eating events and at an average of eight random non‐eating moments per day for 2 weeks. Foods were categorised as: high‐caloric high palatable foods (HCHP), fruits and salads, staple food dishes and sandwiches, and soups and yoghurts.

Results: Overweight participants reported more frequent HCHP food cravings specifically at non‐eating moments than did normal‐weight participants. Normal‐weight participants reported more food cravings for staple foods, specifically at eating events. Moreover, overweight participants craved a greater variety of HCHP foods than normal‐weight participants at both eating events and random non‐eating moments. No other significant between‐group differences were found.

Conclusions: The results highlight the importance for obesity interventions (i) to specifically target high‐caloric palatable food cravings that are experienced during the day and are not tied to eating moments and (ii) to aim for a reduction in the variety of high‐caloric palatable food cravings. It might be fruitful to deliver treatment aimed at reducing cravings via mobile devices because this allows for easy individual tailoring and timing of interventions.

People eat not only to satisfy homeostatic hunger, but also to satisfy cravings and hedonic hunger 1, 2. Food cravings are common 3, and people often crave foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value 4, 5. High‐caloric food intake has been associated with weight gain and obesity 6. Furthermore, sensitivity to the rewarding properties 7 and the reinforcing value 8 of palatable foods is stronger for people with a higher body mass index (BMI) than for those with a lower BMI. The present study aimed to investigate food cravings and intake of overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and normal‐weight (18.5 kg/m2 ≤ BMI < 25 kg/m2) people in daily life by means of ecological momentary assessment (EMA).
Previous research on food craving, mainly relying on retrospective self‐report (questionnaire) assessment, has found that overweight people have more frequent specific food cravings, mainly for high‐caloric foods, compared to normal‐weight people 4, 9-11. In addition, a meta‐analysis has shown that craving and food‐cue reactivity are significant predictors of eating behaviour and body weight 12, as well as of a reduction of perceived self‐regulatory success in dieting 13. Accordingly, an increased food craving appears to be an important aspect of obesity. However, retrospective self‐report assessment is subject to memory recall biases: more recent and more emotionally salient memories are disproportionately often recalled 14, 15. Investigating food cravings as they occur in daily life using EMA could lead to more ecologically valid insights.
During EMA, participants receive prompts on a mobile device (e.g. smartphone) several times a day to answer questions, for example regarding mood, social circumstances and food cravings, and/or are instructed to answer questions on their phone in predefined situations (e.g. when about to eat something). EMA has the advantage that data are obtained in the moment and in daily life (ecological validity) and are not affected by retrospective memory or response bias 14. Another advantage is that participants provide multiple assessments of the included variables, allowing researchers to analyse how the variables develop over time within a participant. Thus, ‘EMA aims to minimize recall bias, maximize ecological validity and allow study of microprocesses that influence behavior in real‐world contexts’ 15. EMA conducted via an electronic device may be especially suitable to assess food cravings because of the relatively short duration of such cravings 16.
EMA studies on food craving have increasingly been published in recent years. It was found that food cravings for sweet and salty snacks increased over the day, with a reduced coherence with hunger 17. In addition, a study focusing on snacks found that most reported snacks were high‐caloric (86%) and that craving intensity was positively associated with snack consumption 18. Studies focusing on dieters found that 17% 5 to 50% 19 of daily life food cravings resulted in dietary lapses. Interestingly, the strength and the frequency of food cravings were not related to dietary restraint 5, although dieters were more likely to give in to food temptations if the craving to eat was stronger 19. With regard to body weight, it was unexpectedly found that a group of people with obesity reported fewer unresisted food cravings compared to a lean group. However, within the obese group, the fraction of unresisted food craving was positively associated with BMI 20. Because that study employed only event‐related sampling (i.e. self‐initiated measurement at eating occasions), this may be a result of BMI‐related under‐reporting.
Another aspect of food craving relates to the variety of craved foods. Although previous research has linked food intake variety to obesity 21-23, not much is known about food craving variety. Sensory‐specific satiety has been suggested to explain the link between intake variety and obesity 24, 25: satiety occurs separately for each of the sensory characteristics of different kinds of foods. Accordingly, when a large variety of foods is consumed, it will take longer for satiety to set in, which may lead to increased intake 26. In general, food cravings and the subsequent intake of these craved foods are highly positively associated 4, 11, 27, 28, with one possibility being that food craving variety is also related to obesity.
Taken together, the present study investigates how food craving frequency, strength and variety, as well as food intake, are related to weight status. The study addresses the following hypotheses: overweight participants (i) report more frequent and (ii) stronger food cravings for high‐caloric palatable foods, (iii) they crave a greater variety of high‐caloric palatable foods and (iv) they consume more high‐caloric palatable foods compared to normal‐weight participants. In addition, the association between specific food cravings and food intake is investigated. Food craving frequency, strength and variety are investigated and compared separately for eating events (i.e. that were about to occur) and non‐eating moments. There are no specific a priori hypotheses about differences between eating events and non‐eating moments in terms of food craving frequency, strength or variety.

A test of the micro‐expressions training tool: The METT group did not outperform those in the bogus training and no training groups; further, overall accuracy was slightly below chance

A test of the micro‐expressions training tool: Does it improve lie detection? Sarah Jordan  Laure Brimbal  D. Brian Wallace  Saul M. Kassin  Maria Hartwig  Chris N.H. Street. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, August 20 2019.

Abstract: The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of the micro‐expressions training tool (METT) in identifying and using micro‐expressions to improve lie detection. Participants (n = 90) were randomly assigned to receive training in micro‐expressions recognition, a bogus control training, or no training. All participants made veracity judgements of five randomly selected videos of targets providing deceptive or truthful statements. With the use of the Bayesian analyses, we found that the METT group did not outperform those in the bogus training and no training groups. Further, overall accuracy was slightly below chance. Implications of these results are discussed.

Preference for high heels correlated with female self-perceived attractiveness; were most preferred in interaction with an attractive male, & least preferred in interaction with an unattractive male

Wearing high heels as female mating strategy. Pavol Prokop, Jana Švancárová. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 152, 1 January 2020, 109558.

•    Preference for high heels correlated with female self-perceived attractiveness.
•    Shorter body height correlated with preferences for high heels.
•    High heels were most preferred in interaction with an attractive male.
•    High heels were least preferred in interaction with an unattractive male.
•    High heels are female sexual signals.

Abstract: Females use various behavioural tactics in order to attract the attention of a desirable mate. Wearing high heels enhances female physical attractiveness for the opposite sex, thus their use seems to be a powerful sexual signal. We investigated female preferences for high heels both in everyday life as well as in a hypothetical mating scenario. Slovak females reported a low frequency of wearing high heels (45% once per month, 38% never) in everyday life. Females with a lower body height and high self-perceived attractiveness reported more frequent use of high heels than others. Sociosexuality and involvement in a romantic relationship did not predict the wearing of high heels. When females imagined an interaction with an attractive male, preferences for high heels steeply increased compared with a scenario with an unattractive male. Females with a low body height use high heels in all probability to visually elongate their leg length in order to increase their physical attractiveness. High heels seem to be a form of sexual signalling by females in intersexual interactions.

German first names: Most of the top-rated names on intelligence, competence, and religiousness were male, whereas all top-rated names on attractiveness and warmth were female

Perceived Biological and Social Characteristics of a Representative Set of German First Names. Tillmann Nett et al. Social Psychology, August 20, 2019.

Abstract. We provide ratings for a representative set of 2,000 German first names with regard to perceived sex, foreign origin (yes/no), and familiarity. In two studies participants (N = 736 and N = 237) estimated intelligence, education, attractiveness, religiousness, age, warmth, and competence of persons with the respective name. Descriptive results show strong stereotypes in society in that most of the top-rated names on intelligence, competence, and religiousness were male, whereas all top-rated names on attractiveness and warmth were female. The reliability of most ratings is satisfactory. We provide correlations between the rated dimensions to give an overview of the internal structure of the dataset. To enhance usage of the dataset, we provide an R-package, which allows querying subsets of names depending on experimental requirements.

Keywords: first names, word norms, social perception, stereotypes, German language

Gender differences in spatial navigation: Characterizing wayfinding behaviors

Gender differences in spatial navigation: Characterizing wayfinding behaviors. Ascher K. Munion et al. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, August 20 2019.

Abstract: Men show a consistent spatial navigation advantage over women, which is often attributed to their increased use of survey spatial strategies. But what about men’s navigation gives them an advantage? One possibility is that the way in which men explore environments is fundamentally different, leading to better navigational performance. To test this possibility, this study investigated whether there are gender differences in wayfinding behaviors during navigation that relate to navigational success in a real-world, large-scale, unconstrained navigation task. West Point cadets were given a masked GPS tracker and sent into a large-scale, natural environment to locate targets indicated on maps. We assessed how they explored the environment by computing three measures from the GPS tracks and related these measures to their ability to find the assigned target locations. We also tested whether their self-reported spatial ability related to navigational success. Results showed that males performed better than females, which replicates prior work. Further, traveling longer distances without changing course, pausing less, and fewer returns to previously visited locations were significantly related to the ability to locate the correct target. Consistent with full mediation, the significant relationship between gender and navigational success is fully accounted for by men and women producing different wayfinding behaviors, which in turn predict differences in navigational success. Further, there was no unique relationship between self-reported spatial skills and navigational success. This study is a first step toward showing the relationship between gender, wayfinding behaviors, and navigational success in a natural, real-world navigation task.

Keywords: Navigation Gender differences Wayfinding Spatial cognition

Mock rape trials: Participants perceived the Christian victim as more moral than the atheist victim, which predicted a higher conviction rate

Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Golding, J. M., Gervais, W. M., Lynch, K. R., Wasarhaley, N. E., & Bainter, S. (2019). Will jurors believe nonbelievers? Perceptions of atheist rape victims in the courtroom. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality,

Abstract: We investigated the impact of a victim’s belief in God on mock jurors’ perceptions of the victim and verdict decisions in a mock rape trial. Four hundred eighteen community members (246 women, 172 men) read a rape trial summary involving an acquaintance rape in which the victim indirectly indicated that she was an atheist, Christian, or there was no mention of religious affiliation. In addition to rendering a verdict, participants rated the victim on her level of morality and rated other aspects of the trial (e.g., victim credibility). We found that the perceived morality of the victim mediated the relationship between the victim’s religious belief and the participants’ verdict, such that participants perceived the Christian victim as more moral than the atheist victim, which predicted a higher conviction rate. In addition, we found evidence for a sequential mediation pattern such that the effect of the victim’s religious belief on participants’ verdict was sequentially mediated by morality, sympathy, credibility, responsibility, and the strength of the prosecution’s case. The results support prior research suggesting atheists are viewed as amoral and have implications for better understanding the role of victim characteristics on attributions in a rape trial.

People increasingly self-segregate into politically homogenous communities; how is unclear; proposal is that people use ambient cues correlated with political values to infer whether they would like to live in those communities

Motyl, Matt, JP Prims, and Ravi Iyer. 2019. “How Ambient Cues Facilitate Political Segregation.” PsyArXiv. August 20. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: People increasingly self-segregating into politically homogenous communities. How they do this remains unclear. We propose that people use ambient cues correlated with political values to infer whether they would like to live in those communities. We test this hypothesis in 5 studies. In Studies 1 (N = 3543) and 2 (N = 5609), participants rated community cues; liberals and conservatives’ preferences differed. In Studies 3a (N = 1643) and 3b (N = 1840), participants read about communities with liberal or conservative cues. Even without explicit information about the communities’ politics, participants preferred communities with politically-congenial cues. In Study 4 (N = 282), participants preferred politically-congenial communities, and wanted to leave politically-uncongenial communities. In Study 5 (N = 370), people selectively navigated their communities in a politically-congenial way. These studies suggest that peoples’ perceptions of communities can be shaped by subtle, not necessarily political, cues that may facilitate growing political segregation.